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Seeing the first snowfall, shopping for the perfect gift, and baking cookies are just a few of the magical moments we like to enjoy in the weeks leading up to the holidays. But perhaps the most magical moment of all is when you decorate your home, turn on the twinkling lights, and bask in that warmth that only comes during the holidays. While you might assume you need a celebrity budget to achieve that level of comfort, we guarantee that’s not the case. In fact, the decorating guru and founder of Pop! by Yaz, Yaz Quiles, recently demonstrated that it is possible to decorate the entire Christmas table for less than $100.
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Yasmin Quiles is an experience curator with the unique ability to not only plan events, but also transform them into unforgettable and authentic experiences that all attendees will remember for a lifetime. There wasn’t a single moment where Yaz knew this was the career path she wanted to take, but rather a collection of moments from her childhood and early adulthood that led her to where she is today. Quiles actually started her career when she was just a child, learning the ins and outs of entertainment from her mother. “My mother inspired me a lot by the way she showed her love for people through entertainment,” she told SheKnows. “I didn’t know my mom was an entrepreneur back then, but I think intrinsically, I learned those skill sets from her and it evolved with me.”
Yaz founded the experiential events company Pop! by Yaz in 2016 and since then has planned innovative and impressive events for clients like HBO, Instagram, Patrón Spirits and the list goes on and on. His amazing work was even featured in a 2019 Netflix documentary called she did that.
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We were lucky enough to meet up with Yaz recently at her beautiful New Jersey home that she shares with her family and watch her work her magic in real life. With just a $100 budget, we challenged Yaz to design a festive tablescape and well, I guess we’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
We also sat down with Yaz to talk about how she worked her magic with just $100 and she shared five great Christmas decorating tips that will come in handy for any holiday.
work with what you have
Yaz’s number one rule is to use the pieces you already have. “Most people don’t see the items in their house for more than what they are,” Quiles explains. “If you have a pedestal, like for a cake or something, we can transform it into a multitude of shapes. If you put it upside down most of the time, there is an opening there and you can use it to put food in and use it as a serving plate. Or if you cover it with, say, a linen napkin or a couple of linen napkins, then it can add height to a buffet table.”
You can see how Yaz used those popular clear storage containers people use to organize their fridges and pantries to add height and dimension to the food table he created for our challenge.
Keep your shopping simple
When choosing things like plates or even fine china, Quiles recommends avoiding dinnerware with bold or seasonal patterns. “One of the basic things that I always love in a kitchen space is white plates because white plates are so versatile. They are also the perfect canvas for food,” says Quiles. In this way, the plates can be used for any holiday, and you do not need to spend extra money on several dinnerware sets.
Update existing decor
Sometimes sprucing up your Christmas decorations just means using it in a different way than you used to. “People think if they’ve done something one way before, that’s the only way you can do it. Take a Christmas tree, for example. Try arranging your decorations differently,” advises Quiles. “Instead of putting them all over the place, put one color on top and one color on the bottom. Or just use your green trims one year and then your red ones the next. Or maybe put all the big ornaments at the bottom and leave the smaller ones at the top,” he says.
do not do too much
“I feel like most people don’t know how to edit,” Quiles says. “I think a lot of people read a lot of things on the table as rich when I think there is beauty in simplicity as well. You don’t want a festive table that’s littered with tall decorations that block your view of people you only get to see once a year.”
Too much decoration can also kill the conversation, as Quiles explains: “Large flower arrangements and tall candles are beautiful, but then they obscure the line of sight of the person sitting across from you. So it ends up being that you can only talk to the person sitting to the left or right of you.”
Sometimes it is necessary to buy new items. But instead of heading to high-end retailers, Quiles recommends going to places like Marshall’s, HomeGoods or Homesense to pick up any items he doesn’t have that he can’t reuse. Quiles’ best kept secret? Head over to your local dollar store. “My little secret stash is the 99-cent store,” he explains. “They have definitely leveled up in recent years and you will find a variety of beautiful items that you can use. So if you need to shop, it’s a great way to do it.”
For more home decor inspiration, check out these best places to buy home decor online:
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